893.6359 Wolfram Ore/42

The Ambassador in China (Johnson) to the Secretary of State

No. 585

Sir: I have the honor to refer to the Embassy’s despatch No. 111 of November 30, 1935,37 concerning the activities of the tungsten monopoly in Kiangsi Province, and to enclose a copy of despatch No. 273 [Page 611] of April 28, 1936, from the Consul General at Hankow38 in which he reports a rumor to the effect that the Central Government is maneuvering to obtain control of the trade in tungsten mined in Kiangsi, and that, as a means to that end, it has established an office in Changsha, Hunan, to control the export of Kiangsi tungsten through that port. He reports that it is also rumored that the Central Government intends to set up in Nanking a refinery to which it will divert ore formerly exported and from which it will export the refined products.

Counselor Peck was instructed to make inquiries at Nanking in regard to these rumors, and there is enclosed a copy of the memorandum of his conversation on the subject with the Vice Minister of Industries on May 22.38 It will be noted that the Vice Minister stated that not only had the above-mentioned control bureau been established at Changsha, but a control bureau had also been established on the Kwangtung–Kiangsi border to prevent the smuggling of tungsten ore from Kiangsi into Kwangtung.

The time would appear opportune again to make some form of representations against the establishment of the Kiangsi wolfram monopoly, as authorized in the Department’s instruction No. 1745 of September 4, 1935,39 but before doing so I desire to have more recent information from the Consulate General at Hankow on the activities of the monopoly organization. As requested by the Department in its above-mentioned instruction, I shall endeavor to induce the British to make a simultaneous protest.

In this connection there is enclosed a copy of a letter dated May 19, 1936,38 addressed by the Commercial Attaché at Shanghai to the Metals and Minerals Division of the Department of Commerce, transmitting a World Trade Directory Report on the National Resource Commission, the National Government organization in charge of the monopoly of wolfram ore mined in all provinces except Kwangtung and Kwangsi. It appears that at the same time that the Embassy is objecting to the activities of the Chinese Government in forming various monopolies the Commercial Attaché is assisting one of these monopoly organizations to make contacts in the United States. I am bringing this matter to the attention of the Commercial Attaché, and enclose a copy of my letter to him of today’s date.40

Respectfully yours,

Nelson Trusler Johnson
  1. Foreign Relations, 1935, vol. iii, p. 789.
  2. Not printed.
  3. Not printed.
  4. Foreign Relations, 1935, vol. iii, p. 786.
  5. Not printed.
  6. Not printed. Department’s instruction No. 253, September 5, indicated the Department’s approval of the Embassy’s action in this matter and asked that the Commercial Attaché” be requested to refrain from further activity. (893.6359 Wolfram Ore/44)